Timing is everything.
Can you really peak 2 or 3 times a year?
More recently, Jeremy Warnier’s 2004 season come to mind with his victories at the NCAA Championships, USATF Olympic Trials, and of course, the Olympic Games. Each of these victories were personal bests, and he sure saved the best for last!
Did he really peak 3 times that year? Or 4 times if you include his NCAA Indoor Championships?
Or was he just that dominant?
A funny analogy to this article is a bodybuilder’s daily eating plan. He just eats one meal a day – constantly – basically he eats all day long, every few hours.
So JW (and Clyde Hart for that matter) looks at the whole season as an entity. Sure, there will be rest periods and taper before big meets, and hopefully some recovery and regeneration after a maximal effort or World Records. The big meets are just blips along the way of the master plan (or Excel spreadsheet!)
Coach Hart claims it’s not “peaking”, but “reloading” after a major meet.
Asafa Powell’s coach Stephen Francis believes in one long peak from April to September. He doesn’t believe it is possible to peak for indoors, Jamaican trials in June, and then the World Championships or Olympics in August simultaneously. This may explain some of Asafa’s world records in June or September.
But he does believe in a 10 Day taper before the competition at 30% of the volume. I caution on the decrease volume as I’ve seen athletes gain weight! This is why we do a lot of low intensity tempo such as 20x100m at 75-80% speed.
This year, the NCAA Championships and USATF National Championships are exactly 2 weeks apart, so you would just carry that peak. It’s just one long peak.
Sample Periodization Examples
Here is our triple periodization model for a short to long program:
- “Period 1” from Oct – March – emphasis on 0-60 meters
- end of period 1 – usually the Indoor Championships
- “Period 2” from March-June – emphasis on 30-120m
- end of period 2 – usually the National or Regional Championships
- “Period 3” from late June to Sept – emphasis on 60-200m
- end of period 3 – the World Championships (or major meet)
Note period “blocks” are not of equal duration.
The above example assumes you live in a area where you have access to indoor meets in Feb/March, and outdoor meets in June. The WMA are usually held in September, but this year the World Masters Athletics Championships in Lahti, Finland will be held earlier from July 28-Aug 8, 2009.
So your schedule may dictate a double periodization, instead of a triple with a shortened season.